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« Tuna 2 / 2017

About our One-Hundredth Jubilee and its Commemoration in the Pre-war Period

This essay reflects on the celebration of Estonia’s 100th anniversary and finds parallels between the history  of Estonia’s  statehood and  the  history of other  (Eastern) European countries,  born or re-established in 1918. Even  though  attempts have been  made  to see the  birthday  of the  Es- tonian  state  on  other  days, primarily  15 (28) November  1917, when the Estonian Provisional Provincial  Assembly declared  itself the  highest authority in Estonia, the contention between the supporters of Jaan Tõnisson and Konstantin Päts has proceeded throughout the history of Estonia’s independence on this background  — 24 February has been considered Päts’s day. Yet in the era of the  restoration of Estonia’s  independence, the concept  of a so-called “third  republic”  was also in the air, which would have given some sort of legitimacy to the ESSR  as well as a part  of the history  of Estonian statehood. Thenceforth a closer  look is taken  at the  commemoration of the Republic  of Estonia’s independence days in 1928, 1933 and 1938, and also in 1943 after the occupation of Estonia.  The commemoration of independence days always brings to the forefront Estonia’s values at the time of the commemoration, and by comparing these three anniversaries, we see the rapid alteration of these values over a brief period of time.